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23 June 2020

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nightsticker

Col Lang

My ancestors rode with the 7th and 12th VA Cavalry.
In the future, after it has been accomplished, I will be willing
to entertain high minded critiques of the extreme methods that were required to eradicate
this leftist, anarchist, nihilist rabble.
For now, to paraphrase, Air marshal Goering,
"when I hear the word 'progressive' I release
the safety on my pistol"

Deo Vindice
Nightsticker

voislav

This has always been an interesting subject for me as I've been long fascinated with the Southern culture. On the Civil War I have two main opinions

Civil War was about slavery. South saw slavery as integral to their way of life and the threat of abolition was the principal reason for the secession. The actual language here is of little consequence, states rights really means "right of states to keep the institution of slavery", this is clear from a number of Confederate state declarations at the beginning of the war.

Treason is a different issue. The question of treason comes down to legality of secession. My belief is that the states have the right to secede from the Union, as they are a sovereign entity that chose to enter the Union. Moreover, it is morally the right thing to do, if a state does not want to be a member of a Union anymore, why force them?

Ironically, it is my impression that while the Confederates lost the war, they certainly won the peace. They maintain their hold on power in the South, they maintained Jim Crow laws, segregation, etc. for another 100 years after the war. They also have political influence disproportionate to their population and economic power.

Personally, it's fascinating to me that such a short period in US history is so heavily represented in the identity of the population. Relatively minor Confederate military leaders are represented with statues, but this is not the case with US military leaders from other wars. George Patton has more monuments dedicated to him in Europe than in the US, and has the same number of monuments as Edmund Kirby-Smith (to pick a fairly inconsequential figure).

VietnamVet


Colonel,

I flew back to the USA 50 years ago, right about now, on a United Airlines stretched DC-8 and watched “Cactus Flower” starring Walter Matthau, Ingrid Bergman, and Goldie Hawn from a battle zone in the First Cold War. There should have been a victory parade when the USSR fell but George H.W. Bush didn’t want to gloat. Besides, it was a victory of western plutocracy, not the people. Junk yards were filled with Soviet-era Statues. In the end, the working middle class in Europe and North America were screwed as their jobs were off-shored to China which would never would have happen previously. Richard Nixon’s American kitchens were once a wonder to the world.

Barrack Obama, Joe Biden and the Western Empire went a bridge too far in Ukraine and restarted the Cold War with Russia. A colossal mistake that ended détente. The blowback from this, the coronavirus pandemic and Donald Trump ended the global Empire. The Unrest, fireworks in the inner city, the tearing down of past history are a direct result. These are revolutionary times. Women are in the lead of the protests. Except oligarchs, politicians, and 10% professionals deny this to their core. Their money and power is at stake.

Democrats and Republicans have till November to decide if they are going to restore a democratic constitutional government that functions to serve the people and provide jobs, shelter and healthcare for its citizens; withdraws troops from overseas, and defeats the pandemic here at home. If not, the collapse of the reserve currency and the global economy will splinter North America apart.

You have no Empire if your citizens are banned from entering virus free Europe, Asia and the South Pacific because the coronavirus pandemic is still sweeping across North and South America due to the failure of the national governments.

Terence Gore

I read "Something of Value" in my twenties and was left dismayed on how seemingly senseless violence and retribution progressed. I grew up as small nerdy wanna be jock and didn't reach sexual maturity well into my senior year. One of my survival traits was to try and figure out what people were going to do to me before they did.
I was walking back toward a parking lot at high school and had to bypass 2 guys playing catch with lacrosse. I had played with them both. One was the superstar on the lacrosse team the other fairly good but a sometimes rival in our youth teams. I gave them a wide berth not to provoke them walking close to the school. I was looking down and got the feeling to look up at and there was the ball coming at me at head height. I dropped to the ground. Picked myself up and not a word was said by anybody. If I reported them my life would be living hell for the remainder of my high school term. If I was hit in the side of the head by hard heavy rubber ball I think it would have done some damage. Given the vagaries of high school politics I give it 50/50 where I would have been considered the instigator.

This morning on the news they led off with some young students for kindness posting positive messages on what look to be a tennis court. The fence was filled with the messages and a white masked man was tearing them down. He was surrounded by people shouting at him. I believe it was the Mayor who came on camera remarking who could do such a horrible thing. The tearing down of statues is tolerated but a similar act is a transgression against the universe.

My distorted view on the whole thing is that the posting of positive messages is not going to matter a whit to the criminal violence that that is occurring like this last weekend in some of our major cities. It is likely to get worse than better. As it gets worse scapegoats will be needed and they won't made of marble and cast iron.

I don't think violence is the answer. At most I hope for myself is some bravery if I am called before the inquisitors. But there is a good chance I will chicken out beg forgiveness and rationalize my actions

The Twisted Genius

I think Virginia as a state and especially Alexandria as a city can rightly claim they seceded and fought to defend their homes since they didn't secede until it was apparent they were about to be invaded by Union forces. As for the Confederacy as a whole, you'll have a hard time convincing me they weren't primarily concerned for the protection and extension of the institution of slavery as an integral part of their society. But they were not traitors. Secessionists, yes, but not traitors. The epithet of traitor has been thrown around far too loosely and incorrectly for years.

I always liked that statue. It was a true memorial to fallen comrades without glorifying any aspect of war or even the Confederacy. I saw it more of an anti-war monument commemorating the human cost of war. The posture of the figure and the fact he was bare headed and unarmed conveyed a sense of sadness and loss. Even its location had meaning. Of all the statues in Virginia that will inevitably disappear, I had hoped this one would have stayed. I was disappointed to hear it was going to be removed from its location this Summer even without the current unrest. I'm glad the UDC moved it before it was damaged.

We have a large crucifix as a monument to the first English Roman Catholic settlement in Virginia just north of Aquia Creek on Route 1 in Stafford. The settlement was established by Giles Brent and his two sisters between 1647 and 1650. Brent eventually acquired land extending north to Alexandria. I don't know if that was connected with the eventual establishment of Saint Mary's Church.

Alexandria

We are, as a country, going through the “Third Reconstruction” driven by a cultural revolution very similar to that which Mao unleashed in China during the 1960s. The first reconstruction ended in 1876 the aftermath of the Hayes-Tilden election when supporters of the Republican candidate, Rutherford B. Hayes, who lost the popular vote and appeared doomed in the electoral college, engineered a deal with the Southern states that resulted in Democrat electors in Florida and South Carolina switching their votes from Tilden to Hayes in return for withdrawal of federal troops from the South. Hayes was declared President by the electors on a vote of 185-184, the troops were withdrawn from the South, the defeated Southerners regained control of their state governments, passed Jim Crow laws, mostly upheld by the courts on a “separate but equal” basis, and relegated African Americans in the South to share-cropper serfdom. The Second Reconstruction, more thoroughgoing that the First, began roughly with the Brown Decision in 1954 and ended with the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980, emergence of a more conservative Supreme Court with William O. Rehnquist as Chief and the appointment of conservative activist, Bradford Reynolds as head of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department. Johnson’s landslide election in 1964 produced a Congress and President who were determined to right the wrongs of the past and erase the last vestiges of de jure segregation in public accommodations with Civil Rights Act of 1964, in housing and at the ballot box with the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in tandem with the Courts whose activist judges were using the “Equal Protection” clause of the 14th amendment to drive social change, uphold affirmative action programs and attack de facto school re-segregation with the highly unpopular mechanism of “busing”.

With the election of Barack Obama in 2008, it appeared to many that the “Second Reconstruction” had been hugely successful with the White House occupied by the first President of African descent (although not a descendant of enslaved Africans) and the high visibility of African Americans in government, courts, the media and sports. The “great expectations” of the African American community in a sense were dashed, concomitantly with the election of Donald Trump in 2016,when they and their supporters came to realize that African Americans were under-performing in the schools and colleges relative to Whites and Asians, were committing crimes in substantially greater numbers than Whites, Asians and Hispanics and were dramatically underrepresented in the wealth-generating high tech and investment banking industries. It was difficult for many, if not most, African Americans and their supporters in elite media circles to honestly acknowledge that under-performance was due in large part to cultural pathologies in the Black community, such as the absence of male head of households in Black families and the proliferation of replacement role models provided by rappers, hookers, hustlers, gangstas, drug dealers and pimps.

It was easier psychologically and politically for African Americans, and their supporters to come to believe that under-performance and under-representation were the product of systemic racism in American society, not personal shortcomings. This view was highly popularized and promoted by the New York Times in its “1619 Series” that argued that the year that the enslaved Africans were first brought to America, 1619, was the real founding of a country built on exploitation, genocidal extermination of native Americans, cultural genocide perpetrated by Whites against Blacks, a revolutionary war fought against Britain to protect slavery in the South from British abolitionists and a “lost cause” civil war fought to keep the Black man and woman in chains. With the New York Times providing a cultural narrative, amplified by the media megaphone, It became altogether too easy for African Americans to come to believe that under-performance, under-representation, high poverty levels, high crime rates and mass incarceration were the product of 400 years of slavery, racism and oppression and, upon reflection, easy to become quite angry at the perpetrators of their misery, the white man and his institutions.

What we are seeing now is what some historians call a “revolution or rising expectations”, or “Tocqueville effect”, as Alexis de Tocqueville in his reflections on the French revolution observed that once social justice is achieved, the appetite for greater reform grows stronger and that violence can result when raised expectations, such as those in the African American community, haven’t been met in practice and Jacobins take command.

We are also seeing a “cultural revolution”, but only dimly, as we do not have a good grip on who or what is the engine driving the destruction of statues, institutions, constitutional values, such as freedom of speech. How can it be that the mob in Golden Gate park pulled down the statues of US Grant and vandalized the statues of Miguel Cervantes, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza in ignorance of the fact that Cervantes was a slave of the Ottomans for five years before escaping turning to literary pursuits, all while the police stood idly by. We are in the midst, indeed, of a “Third Reconstruction” whose end is not clearly in sight.

sam

Here are the musings of a very amateur historian. On my father's side I descend from Virginia slaveowners who fought in the Confederate Army. On my mother's side I descend from Philadelphia Quakers who sheltered runaway slaves along the Underground Railroad.

I view the Civil War as much as a battle over the expansion of slavery as about its immediate abolition. Lincoln attempted to assure the Southern States in his First Inaugural (after secession was well underway) that he would not "interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists." But the great slavery debate of the previous 80 years had been over the expansion of slavery to newly formed states.

The first limitation on the expansion of slavery was the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 which prohibited slavery in the territory north of the Ohio River. The Missouri Compromise of 1820 settled (for 34 years) the expansion of slavery in the territory acquired by the Louisiana Purchase. The Compromise of 1850 settled the expansion of slavery in the territory "ceded" by (i.e., stolen from) Mexico in 1848.

These compromises began to unravel with the 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act which brought on "Bloody Kansas." They were effectively overturned by the 1857 Dread Scott decision. Then John Brown lit the fuse.

What had worried the Southern States was the gradual erosion of their power at the national level as the admission of free states created from the expanded western territories outpaced the admission of slave states and that once the scales had been tipped, the free states would increasingly impose their views on the slave states, ultimately imposing abolition. Therefore, Lincoln's assurances rang hollow.

R.M.T. Hunter, Secretary of State of the Confederacy, wrote in an 1876 article entitled "Origins of the Late War" which opens Vol. I of the Southern Historical Society Papers: "The right of growth was thus denied to the power of the slaveholding States and with the state of feeling then existing and cherished, they had nothing to expect but to be dwarfed and oppressed, judging of the future by the past."

In a later passage, he wrote: "[The North] did not propose peace except upon terms of unconditional submission. When the South was forced to accept these terms to obtain it, the North was not afraid to avow its purposes and carry them out. Slavery was abolished without compensation and slaves were awarded equal rights with their masters in the government. It was the fear of these results which drove the South into the war. Experience proved that this fear was reasonable."

So yes, I believe the Southern States were fighting to protect their "right" to hold slaves.

Vegetius

This isn't hard.

First they come for the statues of our ancestors.

Then they come for us.

And spineless conservatives will stand by and let it happen.

Any question?

Jose

This might be a little more focus than just America.

First, they attack law and order.

Then they attack anything associated with "Rednecks."

Now they are planning to go after religion.

This an attack on Republicans and their values.

They will not negotiate, they will not reason, they are the "S.A" of the Democratic party.

akaPatience

In light of the colonel's expertise, I wouldn't dare attempt to speak to the debate about Civil War monuments in particular. But I will say this: these and all others under attack are, besides serving as historical markers, works of public art that add to the beauty of their surroundings. They're almost always elegant and stately sculptures in a bygone style that is never to be produced again, and depict historical figures with whom many if not most passersby are unfamiliar. BUT, for the more curious observers, they may prompt a teachable experience. And all of this is good.

Of course condemning people of centuries ago by today's standards is ludicrous. But no human being is ever perfect, even in modern times. MLK and JFK were serial adulterers and yet countless streets and other public infrastructure commemorate them.

Weren't the pyramids of Giza and other cherished antiquities, plus places of worship around the world, built using slave labor? Where will the destroyers of art and culture draw the line if they're not stopped? The numbers of worthless, cowardly civic "leaders" who aren't holding mobs of immature vandals accountable for their crimes are astounding, sickening and frightening. I'm thankful for the women of the United Daughters of the Confederacy for their effort to preserve the memorial to soldiers who were Confederates yes, but also Americans. Is that what it's coming to -- private citizens being forced to do the work of protecting public art and historical memorials?

JohninMK

These activists don't accept that our history is not a blank page on which they can write their own version of what it should have been according to their contemporary views and prejudices.

What if that view had prevailed in past generations? Given that history if often written by the victors, what if it had then been 'updated' every couple of generations later?

ponderer

It's odd how some in our society can withstand the cognitive dissonance of supporting the lawless seditionist groups like those in the CHOP while condemning their forefathers for risking their lives to protect their communities.
There is much made about Confederate Soldiers support for Slavery by virtue of fighting for the South. However, like today, it was some asshole politicians who decided on the course for conflict and none of the men who did the fighting and dieing got a veto -- reason Enough to leave every one of those statues alone IMHO. Lincoln intended to put the people in the South to the sword to "preserve the Union". This is, in fact, why several States like Tennessee decided they could no longer remain in the Union. Every volunteer, every current military member who resigned, against their personal desires, like Robert E. Lee, knew the loss of life and destruction that would happen. Usually someone will throw out a letter from a Confederate soldier about where they bragged about fighting for their tradition or honor or maybe even to prevent abolition or to kick the crap out of those Northerners as proof of their collective guilt. I'm sure some thought they would win, some thought they would lose, but everyone knowingly or not, was fighting against the concept that factions the State can employ it's monopoly of violence against political opponents en masse. That localities should have some control of their destinies instead of unseen others in far removed locations and not accountability.
That's why the backers of the protestors want those statues gone. They don't want us to recall a time where the military refused to give up their sacred Honor, for rules and procedures. Hollywood Liberals will learn that at their cost when eventually one of the Blue states decides they can't abide a 2nd Trump term.

turcopolier

nightsticker

The Laurel Brigade

A.I.S.

Disclaimer:

I have never been to the United states, so I hope that you all got a Salt mine in your investment portfolios.

I think that the current situation is part tantrum, part revolution, part unintended consequence of the class war, part mass psychosis and part secular religion.

I will try to unpack this statement a bit, starting with the "secular religious" aspect.
Pretty much everyone who was born in the eastern block automatically connects that kneeling with "struggle session" that were frequently in vouge during various communist governments. In addition, pretty much noone would want to voluntarily participate in one of those.
The theology of Black Lives matter is relatively simple. Everyone who is Melanin deficient shares in the great original sin of racism, but can wash this crime away by constant good deeds for the sacred cause.
I cannot but invoke the "your mother is so woke she sold you as a child into slavery to teach you white privilege" joke here.
The stain is never washed away fully, and relapses into "Racist behaviour" are always possible, as such, constant vigilance against racist wrongthink is always required. What is "racist behavior" is defined by a special "priestly-inquisitorial class" of "activists". Any opposition to the noble goals of black lives matter is obviously racist. Purges within these classes are pretty frequent and often over matters quite arcane to outsiders.
It all sounds drearily familar to anyone born in the USSR, or China, or East Germany etc.
Like most messianic missionary guilt trip religions, it wants to expand with fire and sword, but since it is a bit sword deficient right now it is mostly fire and screeching on twitter.

Lets follow with the unintended consequences part.
Here, I think I will draw some flack. Essentially, in the US and the west in general we can witness the emergence and solidification of a "professional managerial class". This class encompasses much of the beurocracies, the "Human resource" departments of corporation, the newsrooms etc.
Generally speaking, this class is put in somewhat powerful, but by definition temporary positions, typically with explicit or implicit control of, in some cases very large, numbers of "employed working class" (I would define as employed working class any employee with no disciplinary authority over any other employee) .
This class essentially seeks to make its temporary position of power permanent, and to render themselfs irreplaceable to those above them as well, by proposing that they are the only way to "manage" certain things such as interpersonal relations between employees (which didnt need much management for the last X-thousand years for some reason). To to this, these class simultanesously seeks to extend the scope of its "managment activities", both spatially (from the workplace to what people do in their sparetime) and thematically (like most religions and pseudoreligions, regulating sex is pretty high on the list. This class is currently involved in essentially repurposing routine disagreement as "racist incedents" that require immidiate managerial attention, as well as in infantilizing people to the point where they perceive themselfs to be incapable of dealing with routine disagreements anyore. I perceive that todays US univeristy system is the main area in which such infantilization happens.


I also perceive it as part mass psychosis. While racism is a lot more real then witchcraft, todays anti racism witch hunts are to a large extent just that. Noone who does not posses copious amounts of melanin can possibly be non racist (only anti racism, signified by full adherance to the cause, is valid, and thus any non anti racist according to the priestly inquisitorial class is automatically racist), just like with a witchhunt, noone is safe, not even Abraham Lincoln. That they go after people who did far more against racism (Lincoln) then they entire movement ever did is a power play, if Lincoln does not pass the test, who does? Certainly not some random white person in a cubicle. There is a system reason why these things are acute know. The US has experienced a precipitous decline in terms of its relative power share in the last 2 decades. This decline has hurt people, and "racists according to the priestly inquisitorial class" could well become the scapegoats.

It is also part revolution. There are people who are seriously considering themselfs revolutionaries. Well, had they been educated in Patrice Lumumba University Moscow, or in the school for asian toilers (Ho Chi Minh being a graduate there), someone would have thought them things like correlation of forces, which they evidently dont pay a whole lot of attention to, I also question why anyone would wishfully look at the Yugoslav Civil Wars and be like "I want that to happen where I live!".

Finally, it is also part Tantrum. Blowing off some steam in a fairly self destructive way is about as old as mankind itself.

turcopolier

TTG

I have often passed that crucifix. I guess the people who descended from that congregation were among those who greeted with joy the establishment of St. Mary's parish in Alexandria after the Revolutionary War. Bishop John Carroll gave Alexandria a Jesuit pastor from among the staff at Georgetown College. He did this at the instigation of George Washington and a group of his Catholic comrades from the war. The Society of Jesus provided a pastor for a hundred year until the ordinary at Richmond reached out and took St. Mary's from them. The present basilica was built in the 1820s. Its design reflected its presence in a slaveholding community in that one of the transepts was reserved for Blacks. That transept has a balcony where slaves sat while the ground floor of the transept was reserved for free Blacks. The "Black" transept is sized larger than the other on across the nave.
So, there must have been quite a lot of Black Catholics.
One of the stained glass windows is of St. Michael, the patron saint of the Confederacy. They do not talk about any of that anymore. I was a member of the parish council for many years.

turcopolier

TTG
"Even its location had meaning." Yes. At that spot the Alexandria militia battalion (6th) mustered in 1861 and marched away to board a train to Manassas where they served as the basis for creation of the 17th Virginia Infantry Regiment. They had been warned by friends in Washington that federal troops would arrive to occupy Alexandria. The town fathers decided that the militia should not try to defend the town and so they withdrew to return after the end of the war. Alexandria was run by a US military governor throughout the war and treated correctly as occupied enemy territory. A stockade wall with gates was put up around the town and civilian activities were severely restricted.

JamesT

All,

Is there any chance that this is an organized and planned "light color revolution", or is such an idea overly paranoid?

AndreL

Voislav mentions Confederate General Kirby Smith. In a letter to a Col. Sprague from Houston to where Smith retreated in May ‘65’ he writes: he intended “...to go abroad until the future policy toward the South is announced” and he could safely return with his family. I believe he was not the only Confederate officer or official wondering at that time if their service against the Union could be legally classified as treason and therefore would suffer commensurate punishment.. I believe Smith crossed the Rio Grande shortly after.

nightsticker

Col Lang,
Yes. Laurel Brigade.
Most resided in or around Edinburg, VA.
Small landholders; family farm still there.
Did not own slaves on religious grounds; they
were "Dunkers". Church still there too.
Voted against secession; but rallied to defend
Virginia when the Northerners invaded. Many KIA
and WIA. A generation earlier served in the
Virginia Rifle companies of the Revolutionary War.
Later generations of family, counting all sides of tree,
served in War of 1812, WW1 [British Army], Irish War of Independence [IRA], WW2, Korea,
Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan.
To be complete, part of family tree served in Union Army,
Pennsylvania Artillery Regiments. Two were KIA at Mechanicsville.
Deo Vindice
Nightsticker

turcopolier

AndreL

What is significant is that no Confederate soldier or office holder was ever prosecuted for treason.

casey

"Smash the Four Olds" was one of the main slogans the Red Guards carried out with great enthusiasm. Now the chickens have come home to roost as the Otpor-CANVAS game gets played here.

Jack

In retrospect was the war necessary? Was there any compromise that was possible between the North and South?

How many in the South actually owned slaves? Was it like today where the top 1% own the majority of the wealth?

Jack

VietnamVet,

When did it become the role of government to “provide jobs, shelter and healthcare for its citizens”?

If the US dollar is no longer the reserve currency, what takes its place? Euro, Yen, Yuan?

AndreL

Col., probably for the same reason Grant allowed the Army of Northern Va. officers to return home after Appomattox with their horses and side arms. Jeff Davis was imprisoned for a good while, but in the spirit of reconciliation was eventually released and allowed to go home to Mississippi. I would venture to assume that before then, he feared being hanged.

turcopolier

AndreL

The spirit of reconciliation? In Grant's case he knew that he had to persuade the officers to accept defeat or guerrilla war could break out across the land in a war that could never be won. In any event he had nothing against them personally. The leading Confederates made it clear that they would defend themselves against a charge of treason on the basis of the legality of secession. It did not say then and it does not say now in the US constitution that the Union is indissoluble and that the states cannot withdraw from a Union they entered voluntarily. The last thing the federal government wanted was to face that in courts across the country.

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